A few months ago, the NBA announced a potential expansion team could end up calling Las Vegas its home.
Two big names in the NBA are ready to battle it out to become the owner of a potential Las Vegas team – LeBron James and Shaquille O’Neal. Sharing ownership in the new team might sound like the perfect solution, but O’Neal wants it all to himself!
LeBron James And Shaquille O’Neal Both Have Their Eyes On Owning The Potential Las Vegas NBA Team
While it’s been no secret that both NBA legends have an interest in owning an NBA team, particularly one in Las Vegas, talk of the new possible expansion team has certainly brought those desires to the surface more lately.
O’Neal, 51, has made it crystal clear that while he wants to own a team in Las Vegas, he does not want to partner with anyone.
“I would like to have my own group. I know Vegas hasn’t been awarded an NBA team yet, but if they ever get to a point where they are awarded a team, I would like to be a part of that,” O’Neal told Arash Markazi of The Messenger during The Shaquille O’Neal Foundation’s annual charity gala over the weekend. “I don’t want to partner up with nobody. I want it all for myself.”
Having ownership in an NBA team wouldn’t be anything new to O’Neal, who was part owner of the Sacramento Kings back in 2013. He sold his interest in the team last year and when he announced his decision to sell his stake, he parted with, “Till we meet again…” leaving the door open to the possibility of ownership again down the road.
O’Neal has been living in Las Vegas for more than 20 years, so it just makes sense that he would want to be part of a team in the city he calls home.
“I love it here. Las Vegas has always been a city you knew was going to grow,” he said. “You could see different casinos, different real estate projects and different night clubs popping up. I’ve always been a part of it. I used to own one of the hottest night clubs, sold it and now I got 9 to 10 restaurants here. I’m doing very, very well and I want to continue to grow with Vegas.”
LeBron James Also Wants To Own The Possible Las Vegas Franchise
James, 38, was courtside for Game 1 of the WNBA Finals between the Las Vegas Aces and the New York Liberty in Las Vegas over the weekend. He explained why it just makes sense to bring the NBA to Vegas.
“Obviously you have the Raiders here, you have the Golden Knights here, you have the Aces here. You got F1 coming very soon,” he said. “All-Star Weekend has been a few times. You’ve got the NBA Summer League. I think adding an NBA franchise here would just add to the momentum that’s going on in this town. I think it’s only a matter of time, and I hope I’m part of that time.”
James has voiced his desire to be a part of a Las Vegas expansion team on more than one occasion. Before this weekend, he mentioned his interest to own the Vegas expansion team during an episode of “The Shop: Uninterrupted” in June 2022. And during a preseason visit to Vegas in 2022, James also talked about it saying, “I would love to bring a team here. I want a team here Adam, thank you.”
The Lakers star already owns stake in Liverpool FC, the Boston Red Sox, and the Pittsburgh Penguins.
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver talked about the possible expansion earlier this year during NBA Summer League in Las Vegas. He announced that the league will look into the possible expansion when the media rights deals are done in 2025. The two cities rumored to be the most likely destinations for new teams – Vegas and Seattle.